Brain cancer: fate is hounding a family

Brain Cancer: Fate Hounds a Family


A young woman from Quebec must begin the fight of her life, a few weeks before her 20th birthday, to face an inoperable brain tumor at the same time as her grandmother died of the same disease, which could be partly hereditary. 

“When I found out that my daughter was going to be transferred to the same bed that my mother had occupied a few days earlier at the Enfant-Jésus Hospital, the sons touched each other. I couldn't believe this was happening to us, ”says Anne Harvey emotionally. 

Marianne Genois on the hospital bed occupied by her grandmother.

For several weeks, his 19-year-old daughter, Marianne Genois, had severe headaches that those close to her attributed to migraines. But, in mid-July, the pain was so intense that she had to go to the Enfant-Jésus Hospital to receive adequate treatment.

It was then that he was diagnosed with a diffuse midline glioma. This is advanced and inoperable brain cancer, partly because of where it is located. 

“The sky has fallen on our heads, like an accumulation bad news. It's one thing to bury your parents, but it's another to bury your children, “breathes the mother of the family. 

A genetic prevalence?

Louise Gaudreault celebrating her last birthday. She died a week after her granddaughter was diagnosed with a similar incurable cancer.

A few months earlier, Marianne Genois' grandmother herself learned that she suffered from a similar brain tumour. Louise Gaudreault finally passed away on July 24, at the age of 72, barely a week after the announcement of her granddaughter's diagnosis. 

“Yet he was given at least a year and a half with treatment. We like to think that she left early to take care of Marianne,” says Ms. Harvey, surrounded by the flowers that were used at her mother's funeral the day before.

Doctors believe that the genetics may have some role to play in the prevalence of this disease in the family. One of their cousins ​​also received a similar diagnosis recently.

Given the situation, Anne Harvey, who has suffered from migraines for years, should receive the results of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within a few days to check if she has inherited this “gene”.

Head full of plans 

In the meantime, her daughter is undergoing numerous chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments aimed at slowing the expansion of the tumor, even if they will never cure the young woman of 19 years. 

Despite the situation, she refuses to feel sorry for herself and says she enjoys life, surrounded by the people she loves. Her relatives also refused to know the prognosis established by the doctors. 

“I try to be the same Marianne as before, but I live from day to day. I have no choice, “suggests the main interested party.

As a fashion lover, she would like to take advantage of her last moments to launch her own clothing company for non-standard people or to visit cities haute couture around the world. 

A fundraising campaign launched by a friend of the family will help her achieve her dreams. It will also relieve the financial stress of her mother, who has had to close her daycare center to care for her and her own mother for a few months.  

Diffuse Line Glioma median

  • Also called brainstem infiltrating glioma
  • Aggressive brain tumor that begins in the brainstem
  • There is no cure
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment in a palliative perspective
  • Median overall survival is 11 months

Source: Merck Manuals and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital< /strong>

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